Have you ever done a diet that promises rapid weight loss?

On instagram recently I’ve seen a number of women struggling with weight loss motivation and being tempted into trying quick fix diets.

One lady tried the Cambridge diet.  From what I could tell she drank 3 shakes a day and ate hardly any food for a week.  This resulted in a 10lbs weight loss after a week. The lady was of course pretty happy with this, but there’s a few things I want to point out here.

Losing weight vs losing body fat 

It’s easy to forget or just not realise this, but losing weight and losing body fat are not always the same thing. Any diet where you eat a lot less or cut out certain foods can result in rapid weight loss.

This weight loss will usually come from a combination of: – less food inside your bodyless water stored in your body

KEY POINT – when you eat carbohydrates, your body stores some of these in your muscle for future energy use. Every 1g of carbs that gets stored is accompanied by 3g of water. This means you weigh more. When you eat less carbs those stores get used up and the water is used too. So you weigh less, but it’s water and carb loss rather than fat loss.

– loss of muscle – if you don’t consume enough calories or protein, your body senses that you are in potential danger of starvation. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat, so it makes sense to your body to use muscle stores for energy first and keep hold of fat for as long as possible. This is why consuming enough calories, eating plenty of muscle-preserving protein, and lifting weights is so important for burning fat and toning up).

– loss of body fat – you will lose some fat whenever you consume less calories than your body needs to maintain it’s weight. But with rapid diets like this it will only be fraction of the total weight loss. 10lbs weight loss in a week is definitely not 10lbs of fat loss.

Does that weight stay lost?

The lady who followed this diet then received messages from lots of other women who’d done the Cambridge diet too, lost a lot of weight in a short space of time, and then… gained it all back again as soon as they went back to normal eating.

So many women get sucked into this vicious cycle. There’s a crazy amount of confusing and conflicting advice out there, and I really feel for everyone who goes through that misery and restriction only to put all the weight back on again. This is why I will keep getting the message out that any method of weight loss has to become a LIFESTYLE if you want the results to last for good.

Do diets work?

Slimming World, Weightwatchers, the Cambridge diet, Lighter Life, the Cabbage soup diet, the Paleo diet, cutting carbs / fat, the 5:2 diet, and any other diet you can think of, will all ‘work’ in that they will help you lose weight if you follow them.

The simple reason they all ‘work’, at least in the short term, is that they cause to consume less calories. Calorie balance is ALWAYS the key to weight loss.

To me, a diet that actually ‘works’ means it helps you keep the weight off for good. This means a slower approach, but one that allows you to: eat the foods you like have a few drinks with friends now and then focus on energy and health as well as getting slimmer learn about nutrition and what works for long term success stop the yo-yoing and start enjoying life to the max.  

This is what we work on in my Change For Life program (having the accountability and knowledge of a coach, plus the support of other women helps a lot too).

Whenever you’re considering a weight loss approach, always ask yourself IS THIS SUSTAINABLE FOR ME? Can I see myself doing this in 6 months time? If you can’t, don’t do it. Slow and steady isn’t as initially exciting as rapid weight loss, but it really does win the race.

Learn more about what’s in the foods you eat; check calories, get plenty of protein, fruit and veggies Focus on health, energy, sleep, reducing stress Get support if you need it Keep active and enjoy life as much as you possibly can while you work on achieving your goals.